The Groveport Madison High School girls volleyball team is striving for a winning season, which according to coach Matt White, would be its first.

The Groveport Madison High School girls volleyball team is striving for a winning season, which according to coach Matt White, would be its first.

The Cruisers have switched from a 5-1 formation to a 6-2, which has led to more consistency in passing and setting that, in turn, has produced more efficient hitting.

"The girls are excited about the possibility of a winning season, but they also understand that it won't be easy," White said. "Lots of work will be needed to achieve that goal, but we are still within striking distance and the girls continue to show signs of improvement."

The Cruisers were 7-7 overall after beating Westland 25-16, 25-15 and losing to Westerville South 25-13, 25-21 on Sept. 17 and were 1-3 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Big Walnut on Sept. 20. They have a league match Thursday, Sept. 22, at Franklin Heights.

Groveport still has tough tests remaining at home against Canal Winchester (Tuesday, Sept. 27), at New Albany (Sept. 29), at Worthington Kilbourne (Oct. 5), at home against Newark (Oct. 6) and at Big Walnut (Oct. 13).

"Kendra Soler leads us in kills and Jasmine Merz leads us in blocks," White said. "Defensively, we run a man-up, which is better for covering tips and corners and allows our players' athletic ability to really shine. It simplifies the assignments so the girls can play faster.

"We need to be consistent with the little things. Games are always won by smart teams, not always the better team, so we need to eliminate the little mistakes and capitalize on our opponents' little errors."

Football team set to face Comets

The football team will close non-league play Thursday, Sept. 22, at home against Central Crossing.

The Cruisers, who begin OCC-Capital play at home against Franklin Heights on Sept. 30, are 2-2 and are coming off a 45-14 loss to Pickerington Central on Sept. 16. That same night, the Comets lost to Reynoldsburg 55-14 to fall to 1-3.

Central Crossing, which finished 7-4 and qualified for the Division I playoffs each of the past two seasons, likely will be without starting quarterback Deric Williamson, who injured his left elbow in a 42-7 loss to Hartley on Sept. 2 and was expected to miss three to four weeks.

Sophomore Kameron Peck replaced Williamson and guided the Comets to a second-half comeback in a 28-21 win over Grove City on Sept. 9.

Peck was 18-for-25 passing for 201 yards with four touchdowns and one interception against Grove City, and wide receiver Troy Speakman had nine catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

Against Reynoldsburg, Peck was 9-for-20 passing for 118 yards with a 73-yard touchdown to Speakman and two interceptions, and running back Pierre France rushed for 77 yards on 17 carries.

The Comets have been outscored 159-55 on the season, while Groveport has been outscored 96-83.

Against Central, quarterback Jacob Huffman threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Izayah Aekins and scored on a 1-yard run.

Girls soccer team wins league opener

The girls soccer team rode a three-game winning streak into its contest against Canal Winchester on Sept. 20.

The Cruisers, who were 4-5 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Capital before playing the Indians, defeated Westland 5-0 on Sept. 8 and Franklin Heights 2-0 on Sept. 13 in their league opener before beating Centennial 3-1 on Sept. 15.

Jordan McElravey scored all three goals against Centennial and scored two against Westland, and Brooke Sartin scored against Westland and Franklin Heights.

Nanthavong earns all-OCC golf honor

Sophomore Preston Nanthavong of the boys golf team shot an 82 in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Capital tournament Sept. 14 at Turnberry to finish with an 82.3 average, tying him for eighth overall to earn second-team all-league honors.

The Cruisers shot 427 in the round to place fifth, behind New Albany (304), Big Walnut (304), Canal Winchester (374) and Newark (406) and ahead of Franklin Heights (no team score). New Albany won the fifth-score tiebreaker with Big Walnut for first place.

Also competing for the Cruisers were Tucker Falter (107), Clayton Saunders (110) and Ricky Cooper (128).

Groveport finished 2-16 in the final league standings, placing fifth behind New Albany (20-0), Big Walnut (16-4), Canal Winchester (12-8) and Newark (8-20) and ahead of Franklin Heights (0-18).

Girls tennis team picks up first win

The girls tennis team defeated Franklin Heights 5-0 on Sept. 15 in an OCC-Capital match for its first victory.

The Cruisers were 1-8 overall before playing Hamilton Township on Sept. 20 and finished 1-5 in the OCC-Capital.

Groveport, which plays at Westland on Thursday, Sept. 22, closes the regular season Sept. 30 at Reynoldsburg.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Groveport Madison cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 24 -- Marion Gray Invitational at Madison Christian

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 22 -- Bloom-Carroll at Pine Hill

Sept. 27 -- Westland at Oakhurst

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 22 -- At Westland

*Sept. 27 -- Home vs. New Albany

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 27 -- At New Albany

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 22 -- At Westland

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 22 -- At Franklin Heights

*Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Canal Winchester

*League contest